Dutch MPs have voted in favour of a motion to scrap the 20% cap on bonuses for workers in the financial services industry, the Telegraaf said on Wednesday.
The regulation limiting bonuses to 20% of fixed pay was brought in two years ago in response to bailouts of several Dutch banks and insurers during the 2008 financial crisis as well as concerns that pay not public service was guiding bankers.
The vote is not binding and the motion was rejected by the four parties currently negotiating a new coalition. This makes it likely that it will be on the agenda of the incoming government, insides say.
The European Union as a whole limits financial industry bonuses to 100% of fixed pay. The 20% cap has been in effect in the Netherlands since 2015 and was part of a payback to the government for rescuing the financial sector in the 2008 banking crisis.
The parliamentary majority – including Liberals VVD, Christian Democrats CDA and Liberal Democrats D66 – find the bonus cap either unnecessary or want to drop it completely. These three parties are currently negotiating to form a new coalition government.
ChristenUnie, which has joined the coalition talks also voted against, despite previously supporting the Labour-led motion.
Right wing Forum voor Democratie leader Thierry Baudet said the measure costs jobs and prosperity and scares companies off. ‘It’s the toughest bonus regulation in the world,’ he said.
Employers organisation VNO-NCW said last week the measure would cost the Dutch economy 17,000 jobs and up to €1bn in lost tax revenues. Many banks being forced out of London because of Brexit are resettling in other EU countries and officials in the Netherlands say the bonus cap is a deterrent to firms wanting to settle in the Netherlands.
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